430 Inferno“s Plans
Tai'Qui watched Nix closely, he sat in between Pon and Wind, the three of them were discussing something Nix had done while in Talumbir. Whatever it was made Pon laugh so hard that he nearly passed out. Neither the old mage nor Wind could manage a complete sentence without relapsing into laughter.
[Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] Everything happened so fast that I forgot to thank you for representing me again Jargon Kane.
[Whisper: Nix to Tai'Qui] You're welcome. Know what's in these vials?
[Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] Draconian Element.
[Whisper: Nix to Tai'Qui] Hmm... Sound's kinda important.
[Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] It very valuable to dragons, I've heard that it can mutate a very strong dragon spawn into a dragon. However, I can't substantiate the claim.
[Whisper: Nix to Tai'Qui] Know what my new heritage rings do?
[Whisper: Tai'Qui to Nix] Those are entry passes, Nix. I can't really say more without violating an oath. Secure them in Haven, or you'll have dragons after you.
Deidra walked toward Nix and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you. For defending my Krelandur choice and freeing my son. I will send payment when I return to my sanctuary."
Nix nodded. "Take care of Elan. Let me know when you will be coming to Haven."
Although it had already been an eventful day, it was only a bit after sunset. Inferno decided to grab a quick meal and then meet back at the Turtle House after dinner.
Nix entered through the front door, Fajii was holding on to his hand while discussing the many possible uses for Nether rats. The smell of freshly baked bread filled the first level. Hyai and Shae were sitting at the Kitchen Island.
Shae walked around the island to greet him with a hug, she did the same to Fajii with a big smile. "I hear you went on another Rat-Raid."
The alchemist nodded happily and started telling them all the details. Nix chuckled at seeing the reserved Aquarion so animated. After noticing that both ovens were being used, a quick peek told him that they were having shepherd's pie for dinner. "I don't mean to interrupt, please tell me you put that goat in this."
Hyai shook her head slightly. "It's too much work to bring that animal here."
Nix frowned at the redhead. "Next time we eat at the ranch, I'm barbecuing that bastard."
A few minutes later, Hyai pulled two loaves of bread out of the oven. Nix cut them in thick slices and slathered butter on one of them. Hyai pinched him when he took a large bite.
"So impatient. Grab some plates." Hyai rummaged through the utensil drawer for silverware while Shae used the Tap to pour everyone drinks.
"You didn't mention how your fight with House of Kane's champion went." Shae had claimed the seat next to Nix, her leg would brush against his whenever she moved.
Nix shrugged. "Well... First I froze him solid, then took a break for lunch since we hadn't eaten yet. Then we bashed him back and forth a bit before Ducky forced him to admit that they were holding Elan Mtui captive." He glanced at Fajii who was nodding in agreement. "I miss anything?"
Fajii shook her head. "Did you see how strong Morti looked?"
Nix finally realized what was bothering him, their Desert Fox guest was missing. "Where's the girl?"
"Lucid came by and brought her to HQ," Hyai replied.
"How'd that go? Lucid can be a bit scary." Nix finished the rest of his dinner and shook his head when Shae offered him a ghost pepper.
"She was in human form." Hyai smiled broadly. To her knowledge, no one had seen Lucid as anything other than a scorpion.
"That's good. Lucid will start the process by making friends. We need to grab the rest of Kia's people and bring them to the temple." Nix said it with confidence, if they could awaken dormant bloodlines, the Titans of Everspire would start to regain their old strength.
"No rat-raid?" Shae's pretty face showed her disappointment.
Nix shook his head. "I'll sneak in and get an eye on our targets. After that, we'll see what's necessary."
"Tai will be coming to the meeting." Hyai had spent a large portion of her morning talking with the Earth dragon. "She said her scouts should get back to her today."
Nix was hoping for a chance to hit Khione, anything they could do to slow down her preparation. "That's on the agenda, the restoration quests, and my departure."
All three women frowned at him. He would have to recharge the Phoenix Totem for the Krayven Clans. He also promised to visit his sister at Loki.
"You always take on too much." Shae shook her head slightly. "No more solo missions. You are way too important."
"The three of you will be way too busy to worry about me."
An hour later, the officers of Inferno were seated or standing around the kitchen island at the Turtle House. A 3-D topographical map of Khione's stronghold was on display, the earthworms that Tai'Qui sent in had completely their scouting mission. The earth dragon was explaining the layout.
"She's anchored three Ice seeds deep under the earth's surface. This isn't normally a volatile area, but the presence of these seeds are creating havoc."
Pon pointed to a large reservoir of molten rock. "Shouldn't this have made its way upward and destroyed the seeds?"
"Yes. There's something else there, but my scouts could get no closer." Tai'Qui had changed her clothes since earlier. Her green bandanna made her brown eye seem warm.
"I'll head up that mission." Shae volunteered herself, and then glanced at Pon. "I know you were planning on helping Nix, but I could use your flames."
Pon smiled good-naturedly. Shae was one of his oldest friends, their relationship going all the way back to her days with the Salamander Guild. "Of course."
Nix nodded happily. With Pon in attendance, they'd be able to handle anything short of Khione herself. "Take Hyai, the three of you should be enough to handle whatever comes up."
Fajii took control of the hud map and changed it to a Colonial Map. "Thanks to Nix's sources, we have locations for twelve different Temple sites. Six of those are in Colonial, three are in Oasis and the last three are in Everspire."
"Holy crap." Ronnie said what everyone was thinking. "Where did all this intel come from?"
Fajii smiled at the dark archer. "We also have the names of all the disciples that are working each of those temples. The Temple of Scorched Earth has made wiping these cultists out our number one priority."
Sometimes Nix had to be reminded that Fajii had a very strong acolyte force behind her. "Coordinate your attacks and hit all twelve at the same time. Even if one or two escape, it should hamper their progress."
"What's the special mission?" Jun Li had been told that she'd be in charge of a special mission, but Nix hadn't said anything else about it.
"The Ice Moon temple." Nix changed the hud map to a location just north of the Great Desert. "My intel gave me this bit of information this morning. It is where they are training Cultists."
Jun Li nodded and zoomed in on the site. "How big a force should I bring?"
"Leva will come with you. Take Mina, Captain Locas, and Vooni."
"Leva?" Jun Li didn't know much about the former Fallen Chancellor, but she did realize that her abilities made her a key component. "We'll have support from her Nether forces?"
"Yes." Nix brought up the missions for the rest of the group to see.
[Khione's Peak] Shae, Pon, Hyai.
[Cultist Stronghold] Jun Li, Leva, Locas, Vooni, Mina.
[Cultist Disciples] Fajii and her Acolytes.
[Mid-Everspire Quess] Nix, Wind, Bali, Ronnie, Darsi.
"Bali, Ronnie, and Darsi?" Wind smiled at the list. "That's a lot of ranged damage."
"I plan on using Darsi sparingly, keeping her out of sight until we need sniper support." Nix took out a Nether Rat puppet and placed it on the counter. "I'll head into the Red Lion Clan and find the rest of Kia's people."
"I want to go." Tai'Qui spoke quietly, her eyes watching Nix.
Shae's lips curved in a smile. If Nix let Tai go, then he'd have to bring everyone. "Take out the rest of them Nix. It's a rat-invasion."
A breach opened in the outskirts of the Red Lion territory, a moment later a large group of rats streamed through.
/Ratpack: Shae: Why are these rats smaller?
/Ratpack: Nix: Those are all Revenant level rats. I only have a few Emperor rats so I don't want to risk them.
/Ratpack: Fajii: You're using one.
/Ratpack: Nix: Right... I am the Rat-King. There are dozens of rats in a camp this size, spread out, and scout the area.
From Kia's description, Nix had a good idea where the servants were kept. He stealthed and headed toward the camp.
/Ratpack: Bali: Let's go blow that one guy up. Kia told me that he punched her.
/Ratpack: Ronnie: That's right! Where's his camp at Shae?"
/Ratpack: Shae: Follow the river, he was camping right off of it.